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+26
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[Site Behaviour] Its Time To Start Holding People Responsible For Their Downvoting Habits

After 4 downvotes here I think it's time we start making people responsible for their downvoting habits. This has gone on for long enough and I'm irritated that people can't follow simple rules. For those of you who are dying to comment that I am whining about my posts doing well I would gladly list examples of this happening to other great and responsible users in similarly frustrating situations. Can we please push a change to invoke a little responsibility for one's actions? We keep talking about it but I think it's time to do something about this, and soon, while it's still localized.

EDIT: Oh look :) A downvote. And there's my point.

3 years ago by VoyagerXyX with 47 comments

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Conversation 19 comments by 6 users
  • Boop
    +26

    Hi /u/VoyagerXyX, I am going to very honest and admit that I down voted your original thread. I have read the FAQ for voting and as well looked through comments of users and administrators on the purpose of down voting. To make it easier for all members, I will quote the down vote text here:

    Users should down vote snaps that don't belong in the specified tribe, aren't in English, include offensive or lack-luster content, or are obvious spam. Simply not finding it interesting should not warrant a down vote, as down votes are a great tool for crowd-sourced quality control of the content shown.

    I disagreed with your comments, but that was not why I down voted your thread. The reason I down voted your thread was because I felt it was offensive, which is a valid reason for a down vote. As well, the negativity and tone of your post is something I feel is not representative of the positive community of Snapzu, and so I believed the down vote button was the best course of action.

    Now, what did I find offensive about your post?

    I'm not here to entertain you, I'm here to interact with other people and share good content with people of similar interests. I'm sorry if we aren't screaming at each other and threatening one another. Is there not enough bullying for you? Do we not put our member's down enough for your liking? Apologies. I'll try harder to meet my daily beating quota. /s

    Opinion. I don't believe this is offensive. This does not warrant a down vote.

    Assohole.

    An insult directed at the author. Offensive.

    You're basically saying you look forward to our community becoming shitty as time passes. Super.

    Opinion. No down vote should have been casted here.

    I hope you burn your popcorn because you're too busy jerking it waiting for someone to get in a fight in the comments section.

    Very offensive. Harmful and not constructive to the rest of your post.

    So I fully admit that I down voted your post. I am willing to retract this down vote if an administrator or the community can point out that I abused the down vote button. Unless I am completely misunderstanding things, I don't believe I did.

    • VoyagerXyX
      +12

      /u/Boop - I'd just like to say to you that I am appreciative of your criticism of my post and applaud that you took the time to break down exactly why you thought it deserved to be down voted. Surprisingly enough I agree with you, and it will help me construct better opening discussion threads in the future. These are the kind of conversations that I wish we could have when someone decides to down vote something.

      • Boop
        +9

        I appreciate the discussion we've had and with the Snapzu community regarding this and the problems surrounding down votes. I think regardless how we view each other's actions, we all want Snapzu to grow and improve. Without reasonable discussion, that process becomes slow and the overall tone of the community becomes sour. Cheers!

        • VoyagerXyX
          +5

          Cheers!

          • imnotgoats
            +5

            What a delightfully civilised exchange and resolution. I think this is really the thing we should hold onto. Downvotes will start happening more as the site grows. There are already certain measures going in place to dissuade users from using it inappropriately, but it can never be airtight.

            As long as we can keep the accompanying conversation reasonable, I don't think we have too much to worry about as a community.

    • Burt

      This comment has been removed

    • VoyagerXyX

      This comment has been removed

  • ThermalShock
    +10

    As long as the button is there you're going to get the odd downvote once in awhile. Sometimes posts can irk people that otherwise look fine to others and they'll hit that downvote button without putting much thought into why they're doing it. That's the downside to a voting system like this. It's based on kneejerk feelings and requires no effort. It's the reason why we're seeing trending snaps with no comments on them. I've made a personal rule here that if I'm upvoting a snap I'll try to make a comment on it just to try and get some discussion going.

    As for your other text topic. I can see why people choose to downvote it. It just comes across as whining over nothing. The author's assessment you linked to is fair. Snapzu is a bit short on the debate side and can look rather dull as a result. But that easy going atmosphere is why I hanged my hat here. If this was a typical site that used the up arrow to promote content and the down arrow to push it down. Then I likely would have downvoted it as well. Snapzu is unique in how we treat the downvote button. We'll have to beat it into users that it needs to be used for very specific purposes and that they have to think before clicking it, and curbing basic impulses is a difficult thing to do.

    There's a couple of possible solutions that I have in mind in order to help train our users. First is to take away the voting abilities of new users during the first few experience levels. This forces them to get used to the site and see how it works. Hopefully they'll shed the old vote button habits by the time they gain the ability. Second is to limit the amount of upvotes and downvotes spent per day. Knowing that votes are a finite resource will make users rethink whether that post or snap is really worth voting on. Maybe increase the number of votes permitted as a user gains experience levels to tie it into that system.

    • [Deleted Profile]

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    • VoyagerXyX
      +3

      As per your example:

      As for your other text topic. I can see why people choose to downvote it. It just comes across as whining over nothing.

      This is your opinion, which I respect, and yet I upvote you even though it's disagreeing with my thoughts on why I posted that which I won't get into here. They're valid feelings submitted by a real person. It's not that hard to come to that conclusion, and I feel like we are making too many excuses for new users.

      As for your last paragraph while I do think that would be a positive step forward, users will not learn if they aren't told they are doing something wrong at the time they're doing it. Sending a link to an FAQ or Rule List will never be taken seriously if there aren't repercussions for seeing a snap, downvoting it because you don't like it, and going on with your day. If you're going to damage the reputation of another user because you don't like their content they deserve to seek you out and ask you face to face why you did it, maybe you have a valid opinion, maybe you don't.

      This system of 'downvotes with no names or faces' is highly conducive to the hive minding that make other places terrible to participate in. In those senarios you're just being down voted by the "system" or the "group" or the "members at hand" and not downvoted by user X for reason Y. I don't think that cuts it for a lot of people. We need some accountability.

  • ekyris
    +9

    Why are you so upset over a few downvotes? Look, you're not going to make everyone happy all the time. It comes with being part of a community. Personally, I think your post about how some website (which, I might add, has its own reddit alt and no reason to give us good "PR") called us boring didn't really contribute anything to the site. Why should we be concerned that someone outside doesn't like how we operate? I didn't downvote it myself because you guys were having a fine conversation, but if someone does that's their prerogative. It's not an attack on you; it simply means they didn't want that content to be posted.

    And how would you want someone to be "held responsible"? Allow users to see who else downvoted them? All that will do is encourage witch-hunting. People are already limited to how many downvotes they can use a day, and it's plastered everywhere that downvoting is not a disagree button. And how can we include repercussions for someone using a valid system put in place by the site devs? Downvoting exists; if too many people abuse it it's up to the admins to decide to get rid of it or change it. But I don't think five downvotes on a post counts as abusing it.

    • VoyagerXyX (edited 3 years ago)
      +2

      You speak like other people have a say on what I choose to express in a discussion post on this site.

      EDIT: Irrelevant because the rules clearly state that you can not go around downvoting things just because you don't like it or don't happen to agree with it. That's literally the exact opposite of what the downvote button is there for. SPECIFICALLY regarding discussion posts that are almost always guaranteed to contain opinions. I don't care if you don't like what I am expressing on a certain topic or how I'm choosing to express it. It is an expression. How things are expressed are not to be moderated by users who dislike what I said or how I said it.

      Short of a pile of gibberish or nonsense progression of words that literally add or mean NOTHING the downvote button shouldn't be touched and it definitely qualifies as abuse when you're destroying another users reputation but assaulting their stats with your personal beliefs behind the use of the downvote button based on your poor interpretation of the rules.

      Needless to say but you and you're are the offenders in my statements - not directed at you.

      • Raycu
        +5

        People want to keep content civil. Full capslock and saying "you're are the offenders" (Which isn't grammatically correct) isn't being civil. I know the downvote button isn't supposed to be used for I don't like this, or I don't agree. However, I'd much rather the site break it's rules on downvotes. Then allow people to attack authors for a single poor choice of words, that was read too far into.

        • VoyagerXyX
          +3

          Needless to say but "you" and "you're" as in/are the offenders (in the context of example: "you - the offender, not the poster of the comment to which this was a reply to - can not go around down voting things just because you don't like it")

          The way I wrote it was correct. Why are you calling out my grammar like it's relevant to the discussion? Anyone who's taken more than sixty seconds to review my posting habits and history would see I'm perfectly capable of a reasonable and civil conversation.

          • Raycu
            +7

            I'm not saying you're trying to be uncivil, but honestly the way you post isn't a discussion, it's more akin to an argument from my view. For example, in my previous comment, I posted my opinion, however, I feel that your comment, was more an attack on me stating "Anyone who's taken more than sixty seconds to review my posting habits and history would see". This is talking down, this is rude, this isn't civil.

            I'm all for a debate, I'm all for discussion, I'm not for you trying to question my authority on the subject though. If you want a discussion, offer your view, if you want a debate, don't try and find fault with my character please, try and find fault with my argument. Because when you don't it doesn't make me want to see it from your perspective at all, and it comes off as hurtful.

            • VoyagerXyX
              +3

              I'm going to leave you with an up vote and let the thread and this post die off. Have a good rest of your day.

      • ekyris
        +4

        Alright, to be clear, I'm not defending anyone who downvoted you. Yes, differing opinions and expressions do not validate downvoting. But what I'm trying to get at is, there is no real way for you to fix other people if they choose to downvote you. The only thing you can control is how you respond to it. "Assault" and "abuse" are pretty strong words, and ones I don't think qualify to explain your reputation score on a social media site. Your first edit on your other post is enough to get your point across. Besides, I don't want to be on a site that controls how we use votes--the per day limit prevents trolling and spam, and I think that's enough.

        • VoyagerXyX
          +2

          I think your examination of the situation is fair and submit to your explanation, so I'd like to thank you for responding.

  • 0r4n9e
    +7

    I haven't read earlier discussions about this issue, so I don't know if this has been suggested already, but: How about removing the downvote button all together and have a report button instead? Most people don't report on a whim, like they might do with downvotes. More work for moderators perhaps, yes, but this will make it so that if you simply disagree you'll have to do so in the comments and if you agree/like you'll upvote. This will still make the interesting stuff reach the frontpage and the stupid/boring/bad stuff drown in the feed, but will remove the whole downvoting fairies problem and disagreers will have to make themselves known in the comments.

    • [Deleted Profile]

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  • Retzilience
    +5

    IUnder the belief that you can't curb people will to downvote things that they disagree 'd be willing to propose a simple system that work in two ways.

    One - Make the downvote just a tiny bit more difficult to cast than the upvote on a two-step procees.

    Two - Make the differentiation of the downvote compulsive.

    It would work like this:

    Once you decide to downvote, a second in-promptu box opens asking you to differentiate your downvote. You would have two options:

    1 - I disagree

    2 - It doesn't contribute for the discussion.

    If you don't select, the downvote isn't cast.

    That way the programers could differentiate the relevance of the post, and keep it on the light of day even if a bunch of people disagree with.

    And things that are inane, like puns or memes could be downvoted on the bases of contributing for discussion properly.

    I hope that the user when facing the written statement of why he is downvoting an opinion will make it harder to try to burry something because you disagree with by lying saying it doesn't add to the discussion, keeping everything more civil.

    • kigurame
      +6

      On snapzu the downvotes are not for disagreeing but more a moderation tool see here in one of my previous Posts. Specifically this by /u/drunkenninja

      If we can all agree that the down vote button is a "moderation tool" instead of a "I don't agree with your opinion tool" we will all be better off and it will promote a far better community experience where unpopular opinions are discussed and hashed out instead of downvoted into oblivion. It would make general interaction so much more interesting.

    • VoyagerXyX
      +2

      If the user selected #1 in this example it would be more appropriate to not cast the downvote and the restrict the user from attempting them to downvote again with a prompt that reminds them that disagreeing with something is not a viable reason to downvote.

      • Retzilience
        +4

        But then, next time he would simply click on "it doesn't contribute to the discussion". Also, this would seem like a punishment.

        In those cases I think it's better to behind the curtains, trough programming, not to cast the proverbial downvote that sends the comment down, but flag the comment with a symbol badge of "Highly Disagreed" and keep the comment up.

        That way the discussion isn't polar on its visibility and the users that disagree feel that their disagreement was made vocal.

        The key problem here is that people will try to downvote what they disagree because that's their only non-vocal action. If you give them a vocal action to disagreeing that doesn't break the intended rules of structuring you may be able to educate the community in the long run instead of looking for workarounds and algorithms to curb the misuse.

        • VoyagerXyX
          +3

          I suppose as long as being disagreed with doesn't affect a users reputation it would be a viable solution. I feel like there's an old school courtesy in typing "I disagree" and stating why rather than just pushing a button to add to a count but that's not really what this is about.

          • Retzilience (edited 3 years ago)
            +6

            Totally,

            I think on Snapzu (at least for now, that creating an account is not so trivial) this will hold for a bit.

            But as soon as trolling by downvoting is easy to do and (in reddits case) the more straightforward action, it will be abused by the (loud and) immature userbase, and then the whole community level is brought down.

            If somehow an education and culture of avoiding burring a comment because you disagree with is dissolved the whole system takes shape and become less and less attractive to angsty teens and trolls.

            • VoyagerXyX
              +3

              If somehow an education and culture of avoiding burring a comment because you disagree with is dissolved the whole system takes shape and become less and less attractive to angsty teens and trolls.

              Yeah but this is incredibly unlikely and that's why I think it would make a very strong impact if people needed to sign their name next to a downvote their giving out. It would send a clear message that this is to be used for quality control ONLY and abuse rates would nosedive. So what if it led to people being flamed by others for downvoting something. It would send a clear and consistent message to people misusing the system that this isn't something we f*ck around with here on Snapzu and that we're serious about the community moderating itself, not just with the quality of POSTS but the quality of feedback. Do you know what I mean?

            • Retzilience
              +3
              @VoyagerXyX -

              @VoyagerXyX -

              Yes,

              And to be quite honest, I think any sort of system trying to tinker and optimize this is top priority, because this system of community is heavily based on the flow of down and up votes, and it is clear as day that the binary system of upvoting "things you like" and downvoting "things you don't like, but don't do it for things you don't disagree with but we know that you will use it to disagree" is terrible for large communities.

              Something has to be done about it.

            • Gozzin
              +2
              @Retzilience -

              A middle button for "disagree"?

  • voicesinmyhead
    +5

    Okay, after reading through all the comments here, the referenced post, and even another topic related to this situation...

    My opinion (and it's just that) is that the tone of the referenced post was not "by definition" offensive, but it certainly felt that it was pushing in that direction. It came across as a passionate response to a (somewhat poorly-worded) criticism of the Snapzu community, akin to berating someone publicly simply because their opinion of something wasn't the same as your own. In that context, I could certainly see why some users felt it was enough to justify a downvote. Several of these downvotes could very well have been hesitantly cast, maybe after debating whether it was offensive enough to warrant it. In my opinion, it was not... but not by much. Another paragraph might have tipped that scale, though.

    It's clear that you're passionate about this particular situation based on this topic and also some of your replies. Building a solid reputation on any social site takes a lot of time and effort, and it can certainly be frustrating to see some of that time and effort getting chipped away because someone can so casually click a button without understanding the consequences. In that regard, I absolutely agree that there should be much more clarity on exactly how that downvote button is used here.

    It's fair to say that many in the recent flood of new users here have come from a site where downvotes are just as commonly-used as upvotes, and everyone can vote how they want for any number of reasons. Maybe there needs to be some kind of "breaking in" period to help these users become accustomed to what a downvote is actually used for on Snapzu, because I can assure you that not everyone is going to read the site FAQ or the site rules.

    Personally, I think ThermalShock's suggestion pretty much nailed it - no downvotes for the first few levels, and a daily downvote limit based on your level, your reputation, or some combination of both.

  • GreatMightyPoo (edited 3 years ago)
    +3

    As the community grows there's going to be those who abuse the downvote button; no getting around that. As long as the majority do use it correctly the upvotes should make the few abusers insignificant. So what, 2 or 3 people downvoted your submisison. Look at the other side, 51 people upvoted it. The community has spoken and those 3 downvotes mean nothing.

    EDIT: I have a suggestion though, how about making upvotes and downvotes public? Like you can click on the number and it will give you a list of the usernames who up or downvoted a submission.